a special giveaway for alphabet soup’s 5th birthday

Hello hello hello!

I’m baaaaaaaaaack — just in time to celebrate five years of Alphabet Soup!

Wow, it’s very hard to believe it’s been that long and that I’m still here after 1400+ posts on 2 different platforms, 348 15 pies, 569 a few cupcakes ☺, 145 book reviews, and many, many days when I asked myself, “Why am I doing this again?”

Who’d have thought a very private, non tech-savvy introvert who’d never even read a single food blog (gasp!), could somehow keep finding something to say week after week?

Wonders never cease.

I named the blog, “Alphabet Soup,”  because at the time I was writing my first chapter book about an alphabet collector who acquires a miniature uncle via mail order for the letter U, and included, “soup” because of my first picture book, Dumpling Soup. I was intrigued, and still am, by blogging as an art form, a unique creative outlet that allows me to indulge my love for journaling and creative nonfiction, letter writing, children’s literature, photography, culinary history, typography, food art, food memoirs and baking.

I have learned SO much in five years, only to realize how little I actually know about everything. I have new respect for professional book reviewers, renewed love for teachers and librarians, even have a new appreciation for editors, i.e., “inappropriate submissions.”

Having said that, as a blogger and a person who reads many, many blogs, nothing is anything or more important than connecting with good people — listening to, supporting, sharing, reciprocating, respecting and being humbled by. It’s a delicate balance – establishing a voice intimate enough to make the reader feel you are speaking directly to him/her when in fact it’s a public forum where you have to carefully balance the personal with the professional, and have to constantly second guess at what people actually care about.

5 Things I Wish I’d Known at the Start

  • Evil interlopers like Twitter and Facebook will lure away some of your blog readers, and some of the “friends” whom you’ve invested years in getting to know through their blogs will instantly disappear.
  • People like what they like and who they like. You can’t please everyone.
  • If you want to blog about cupcakes, then you have to eat more than a few cupcakes, and at some point all your clothes will magically shrink all by themselves.
  • It would have been so much easier to have learned CSS, html, and digital photography in grade school. Of course, even better if any of that stuff had even existed when I was in grade school.
  • There will be stress, insecurity and angst about reviewing books or interviewing authors whom you admire a lot. You will worry about doing them or their work justice, but you can only do your best and often it won’t be good enough.

Five years ago, I didn’t know where my blogging journey would take me. I listened to my heart, followed my instincts and some things surprisingly took on a life of their own (the blog was called Alphabet Soup before I ever made my first bowl).

5 Stages in “Soup of the Day” Evolution

  • 2007 – 2008:  A casual mention of a new book’s release in a post. (Time: 5 minutes)
  • 2009: A short post dedicated to a book’s release, including balloons, cover image, and a few extra rah-rahs. (Time: 30 minutes)
  • 2010: A post that’s a review and recommendation of a new release, including at least 6 images and a custom bowl of alphabet soup. (Time: 2-4 hours)
  • 2011: A post that’s a review and recommendation of a new release, including at least 10 images, 3 interior spreads, a custom bowl of soup, additional foodie photos, and links to other blog reviews and interviews. (Time: 3-4 days)
  • 2012: A party-oriented thematic post that’s a review and recommendation of a new release, requiring finding or making props, including 20+ images/spreads, a custom bowl of soup, extra foodie photos and links to other blog reviews and interviews and lotsa proofreading. (Time: 4-6 days).

Soup of the Day posts take a bit of time, but they are worth every minute of effort if it makes at least one person smile.

AS Furry Kitchen Helpers thank you!

5 Best Things About Blogging

  • Tasty research, reading wider and deeper, learning to write faster for a target audience, great brush-up on discipline.
  • Going on foodie field trips, trying new restaurants and recipes.
  • Being able to write extended, candid, personalized “reviews” with cool images and no word restrictions, and getting to choose which books you want or don’t want to feature.
  • Being able to meet online or interview people you admire, whom you’d never have the courage to speak to in person, or the opportunity to connect with otherwise.
  • Learning learning learning — about the people who read, write, illustrate, sell, publish and promote books, and, who’s eating what, when, why, and how.

5 Highlights of 2012

* * *

* * * Alphabet Soup 5th Birthday Giveaway! * * *

Since we are celebrating Julia Child’s 100th Birthday all next week, I thought you might like a chance to win a copy of Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz (Knopf, 2012), which is officially out today! It’s been receiving rave reviews (including *starred reviews* from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly), and I cannot wait to devour every word.

You don’t even have to have an interest in cooking to appreciate Julia’s remarkable achievements — she lived life large on her own terms, showed how important it is to follow one’s passion (regardless of what age you discover it), never stopped working, continually strived for excellence and perfection, and always put people first. And how she made us laugh!

Along with the book, you can win one of these adorable soup necklaces created by Catrina’s Toybox in California. The ceramic bowl is approximately 6/8″ in diameter, the soup is made from resin, and the letters are handmade in polymer clay. It comes with an 18″ silver-tone chain with a ring clasp and a wee spoon. Catrina has agreed to personalize your soup.

*Recommended for ages 12+

If, on the off-chance you aren’t into soup (ahem, ahem!), feel free to choose any necklace from Catrina’s Etsy Shop. She specializes in food miniatures — here are a few other options:

Fruit Loops Breakfast Cereal Necklace
Pumpkin Pie Necklace
PBJ Sandwich Necklace

To win a copy of Dearie and a necklace, simply leave a comment at this post telling us what your favorite kind of soup is, no later than midnight (EDT) Saturday, August 18, 2012. Extra entries for blogging, Tweeting, FBing, etc. (mention in your comment).

You can also enter by sending an email with “BIRTHDAY” in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please.

* * *

Wait — there’s more! We’re also giving away copies of these two children’s picture book biographies about Julia Child next week. Read the interviews for all the details. I hope you enter all three giveaways!

* * *

♥ 5 Reasons to Love Alphabet Soup Readers ♥

  • sooooooo smart
  • good-looking
  • curious
  • perky and polite
  • always hungry

Thanks, Everyone, for your continued support!! It’s been a great first year at WordPress ☺!

♥ This post is brought to you by the number 5 and the letters, A, B, C, D, and E. Chew on them; they taste so good.

* * *

This post is being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share any food-related posts (recipes, fiction/nonfiction/movie/cookbook reviews, photos, musings, etc.). Come join in the deliciousness!

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Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

 

110 thoughts on “a special giveaway for alphabet soup’s 5th birthday

  1. Happy annniversary! I’m so glad you’re still here! I loved the “shrinking clothes” and learning the origin of your blog’s title. I think you should finish that book…and I’m glad you gave us the timeline of posts. When I was doing Ellsworth’s Journal, it often took me days to write the stories and make costumes and photograph Winchester, which made me question my sanity. But you’re still here and we are thrilled! I would LOVE to win one of those necklaces! So very very cute! Off to have a donut in your honor (donuts are the new cupcakes).

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    1. I’m really getting spoiled here — so far a cupcake and cherry pie, now a donut! Let’s face it, we’re probably both insane when it comes to posts🙂. Are you familiar with the shrinking clothes syndrome? Such a bad occupational hazard.

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    1. Thanks, Grace, I’ve loved featuring your books here. They truly make me hungry. Dumpling Days, especially, was a tour de force!

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  2. Congratulations on five delectable years, Jama! I love the “miniature uncle” story idea — more, more!

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  3. I love Julia Child and can’t wait to read her new biography. Congratulations on 5 years. Love the necklaces, so cute.

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  4. Oh, I came here to wish you a happy birthday, and there is a “mrs. b” sighting. I’m truly honored, ’cause I flippin’ love this spot in cyberspace.

    You wrote, “Being able to meet online or interview people you admire, whom you’d never have the courage to speak to in person, or the opportunity to connect with otherwise.” I still hope and hope to have that cup of tea with YOU one day. YOU are who I want to meet in person.

    I’m sorry to be so boring, but my favorite kind of soup (I don’t have to be entered into the contest, but it’s a fun question to answer) is tomato soup. Old skool is best. The creamier the tomato soup, the better, too. OH BUT WAIT, there’s also a wonderful garlic soup my husband and I make. Mmm. Garlic. We put SIX heads of garlic into it. Oh yes, you’ll smell for DAYS. But garlic is good for one’s immune system, too.

    Happy birthday!

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    1. Hi mrs. b! Perhaps we should next aspire to talk to Maira in person :)?

      I did a survey once, and tomato got the most votes among bookish types. There’s definitely something to be said (or slurped) about old school being best. Comfort food, don’t you know. I’ll take your word on that garlic soup. I imagine you and your family have great immune systems, but not many vampire dinner guests. Thanks for the good wishes! And I hope to meet YOU someday soon :)!

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  5. I love so many soups it’s hard to choose. Topping my list are Italian Wedding Soup, Butternut Squash Soup and Tomato Basil Bisque. Bon appetit! Jama, thanks for 5 years of sharing your alphabet!
    *shared on Facebook

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  6. Wow, it was quite something to take a look at your impressive history, and what’s been learned and eaten. I would have gotten tired out from all that time traveling except as always you made me smile. So on your “vacation” you were researching! My kind of girl.

    My favorite soup is kitchen-soup minestrone, made with whatever veggies are on hand, at least pretty much. I thought the soup necklace was adorable, but the adorableness kept multiplying as I went down to the p and j.

    Congratulations on 5 great years!!!

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    1. You’ve been such a wonderful friend, Jeannine, one of the first to welcome me to LJ with lots of encouraging comments and support. What a pleasure to get to know you better through the years. I continue to be in awe of your work, your beautiful spirit and generosity. Yes, I do love research, and your kitchen soup minestrone has me drooling.🙂

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  7. ONE soup? That’s a cruel question.
    Chicken Corn Chowder is a favorite.
    And my husband’s Hamburger-V-8 soup.
    Potato soup.
    Every picture of soup you’ve ever posted.

    I also love your lists and the blog history here. Happy birthday, Alphabet Soup!

    Shared the news on my blog today, too!

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    1. Thanks for the nice post, Karen. It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you through PF. I’m thinking Atticus’s Hamburger V-8 Soup would go great with his french bread. You are a well-fed writer, even more shockingly clever than we might think . . .🙂

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  8. We are so glad you started and continue this blog. And your Soup of the Day posts make EVERYBODY smile!

    Favorite soup for me is a no-brainer: Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bowl. Yum!

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    1. I’ve never had soup in a sourdough bowl. Send me some! The Paddingtons and I thank you for reading this blog, and for being you, of course . . .🙂

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  9. Great post! Happy Birthday Aphabet Soup Blog! Now you are five! YAY! you can go to kindergarten!😉 It’s a tie between cream of broccoli, new england clam chowder and all of my mom’s home-made soups…on second thought mom’s soups win😉

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    1. Thanks, Erik. Kindergarten will be exciting! Will I get chocolate milk and cookies? And I think your mom should adopt me so I can eat all her good homemade soups.

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  10. YOU are awesome in every way! I can’t even remember when it was that I came to know and adore you and your blog but I do know it was through LiveJournal. I love your posts and your love and respect toward books, authors, and food comes shining through! Wow! You DO spend a lot of time and energy on your posts! You are amazing!🙂 Thank YOU for doing all you do, and for featuring me and my book (long ago), and for sharing such great books! I”m so glad we’ve met and become good friends!🙂 (Ms M and RG!)

    Okay – my favorite soup? Really? What do I choose? Tom Yum? Greek Orzo with lemon and spinach? Mushroom bisque? Ack! I love ALL soups! But you know what I’m going to say, right? I love ramen!!!!
    xoxoxox

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    1. Hooray for Ramen Girl! I remember coming across your LJ blog and then going to your website to learn more and then friending you🙂. I knew you were a kindred spirit. That’s quite a gourmet palate you have when it comes to soups! Thanks for being such a good friend and for all your kind words and encouragement. Means a lot!

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  11. Happy birthday! I always love your posts. My favorite soup is tomato.

    Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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    1. Hear you on the chicken noodle, Rebecca. Lots of good childhood memories associated with it, and sick days that were made better with this quintessential comfort food. Loved mine with a few saltines🙂.

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  12. Happy anniversary, Jama! You deserve all those cupcakes and many, many more for your delicious posts, your gorgeous photos, and all the time you give to children’s books. Yay, Jama! (And oh, those necklaces are darling. Makes me wish I weren’t in the UK! Though if you ever take a fancy to visiting, I will do my very best to feed you well.)

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    1. Hello dear Amy! I’m always wishing I were in the UK (I hear cupcakes have made quite a showing in tea shoppes there of late). Appreciate your good wishes and all the good vibes I get from reading your LJ🙂. Thank YOU!

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  13. Aloha Jama! Wow, 5 years…what an accomplishment! And now I know that it’s perfectly okay to blame the shrinking of my clothes on “research” for my blog🙂

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    1. Oh, your clothes are shrinking too? Phew, glad I’m not alone! Strange phenomenon, isn’t it? Research can be dangerous, but somebody’s gotta do it. Love Veggietorials🙂.

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  14. Welcome back Jama; it’s been quiet without your wonderful words, and constant laughs with life! Congratulations on a great 5 years-fun to hear the list of things learned. My favorite soup is multi bean, with cornbread of course. Best wishes for more good soup time! I’ll tweet & FB.

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    1. So happy to have met you online this year, Linda. You’re definitely part of the 2012 highlights! Thanks for sharing via FB and Twitter. I’ll take some of that multi-bean soup and cornbread now . . .🙂

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  15. Happy blogoversary!
    It’s been a joy getting to know you over these 5 years–and to actually meet you and Cornelius!

    I absolutely treasure my own alphabet-soup-themed launch post, and I’ll bet every other author you’ve done them for does too. THANK YOU!

    And my favorite soup is … curried lentil. No, Tuscan bean soup. No, creamy seafood chowder. No, leek and potato. I may have to get back to you on that!

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    1. I loved meeting you too at KidLitCon! Thanks for being such a faithful reader and commenter all these years, and for your good wishes. That curried lentil soup sounds so yummy — but then you’ve got quite a delicious list going. I confess to never having eaten leeks. Sheltered life, I know.

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  16. Oh, Jama, how we’ve missed you! What a delightful post from beginning to end. Soup? Oh my. For some reason, lately I’ve been thinking of the oyster stew my mom used to make. (Probably because Steve doesn’t like oysters and so I never make it.) Nothing much other than cream, butter and oysters. Eaten with oyster crackers of course. Many, many happy returns!

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    1. So nice to be missed, Michelle! I wasn’t posting but I was still reading Gourmandistan. Didn’t want to miss anything.

      Have to say I’m with Steve when it comes to oysters. Could never develop a liking to them. I think it has something to do with the Walrus and the Carpenter. But I do like oyster crackers🙂.

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  17. As always, it’s a celebration when you return from your blog hiatus(es). I’m revving up for the Julia celebration, I really am – MUCH, much love for her! And I hope to do some cooking in celebration – maybe by then my life will be a bit more settled. In any event, happy, happy blogversary! Many happy returns of the day.

    Here’s hoping for some new creative ventures from you this year – in which the universe repays you for all you do for us. ♥♥♥

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    1. Thanks, T! I hope you cook some Julia recipes and share on your blog(s). I went with two simpler ones from MTAOFC — just to prove that if I can do them, anyone can. It was a great experience and I felt Julia’s presence all through.

      You were one of my first readers/commenters. I used to think you were actually Scottish🙂. Well, we know better now, don’t we? Thanks for always being there.

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  18. Welcome back dearest Jama *bear hug * and Happy Happy Blogiversary! These are great reflections about how much you’ve grown in the 5 years that you’re blogging, and so many things to learn and yet to discover. You’re right, the blog does take a life of it’s own, and I’m sure that in another 5 years’ time, the entire platform will radically shift and change – it’s a scary thought but we shall keep on – connected as we are with our love for words words words and great food. What a lovely way to celebrate your blogiversary with soooo many giveaways!!! As per usual, I shall be entering with Fats as our US rep. Hehe.

    Okay, favorite soup: husband’s pork sinigang (or pork in sour broth) which he would be making for me today (yey!). I just had a difficult dental surgery (impacted wisdom tooth) and can’t eat anything hard or crunchy – just soup, noodles, pasta, mashed potatoes and yummy ice cream. There are perks to going through extreme pain, after all.

    Again, great big bear hugs, dear Jama! You are truly an inspiration.

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    1. So so sorry to hear about all the pain you’ve been experiencing. Hope all the good soups and ice creams you’ve been eating have helped some. Lucky to have a husband who cooks — his pork sinigang sounds intriguing.

      I’m glad our online paths crossed this past year. It feels like I’ve known you forever. You always leave the best comments🙂. Thank you for being such a great blog friend. I’m still trying to come to terms with the “impermanence” of blogging, since I don’t like change. I don’t like having to re-learn technical stuff all the time. “They” are always updating/changing software, claiming to make things better. Not always the case.

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  19. So glad to have you back, Jama! I loved reading a bit about your journey as a blogger, and the evolution of your posts. (And as a fellow introvert, I wonder if you’ve read Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking — it’s excellent.)

    You can rest assured you make at least one person smile with your posts, but I know I’m just one of many out here smiling — and marveling at your thoughtfulness, intelligence, generosity and creativity. Happy Birthday, Alphabet Soup!

    Oh, and my favorite soup is a white bean and kale minestrone with some grated parmesan on top.

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    1. Nice to hear from you, Linda! Hope you’re all settled in at your new place. I think I might have read the beginning of that book — and then was discouraged that while it touted the positive things about being an introvert, the author then offered ways to be more extroverted. I could be talking about another book, so I’d better double check.

      Thanks for saying such nice things. You are too kind! Your favorite soup sounds scrumptious!

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  20. My favorite soup is Yellow Split-Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale, a recipe I found years ago on the Fat-Free Vegan blog. I make it about ten times every winter!

    Happy blogiversary!

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  21. Jama,
    I am so glad to see you back. Congratulations on the five year anniversary. As a blogger I loved reading all your insights and advice. I enjoy the passion that you put into every post. My favorite soup from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit magazine more than 20 years ago is Italian Tortellini Soup. Hmmm…even though it’s summer, that sounds pretty good right now. Cheers!

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    1. It’s been fun getting to know you via 7-Imp. I could do with some of your Italian Tortellini Soup right about now. Thanks for reading AS!

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  22. Congratulations, dear Jama! Still loving your Alphabet Soup after all these years. I bought “Bon Appetit” for my tween, a big Julia fan and fellow Julia. Boy, did my Julia love visiting Julia’s kitchen at the Smithsonian. I shared your post on FB — hope some new readers find your delicious blog.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Laura. It’s been fun following your blog; the PF gang is the best! Didn’t realize your daughter is another Julia and that she’s a Julia fan! Eeeee! The kitchen exhibit had been closed for awhile — need to check back to see if it’ll be open next week. I haven’t seen it yet (sacrilege, I know).

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  23. Alphabet soup is one of my favorite blogs, and I feel lucky to have a seat at your table. I remember meeting you on LJ, and followed you here. I hope (believe) we’ll meet in person one day; meantime, I’m glad we can connect online.

    P.S. Grilled cheese sandwiches, dunked in Campbell’s tomato soup, is my go-to comfort food.🙂

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    1. Yes, I feel we’ll definitely meet someday — whenever I have a grilled cheese sandwich, I think about you and that I need to have some tomato soup with it. I was lucky to meet so many good people at LJ, and I appreciate more than ever the friends like you, who didn’t instantly disappear! Thanks for following me to WP. Hope to see you set up house around these parts soon, too!

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  24. part 2! YaY finally my comment worked! apparently wordpress doesn’t “know” my other email address.

    Thank you for your fabulous blog! You do an amazing job, it is always wonderful to read and beautiful to look at! I am glad we are friends!
    xoxo

    (still veggie soup!)

    Like

    1. Sorry to hear about the comment hassles. Thank you for persisting! Veggie soup = excellent choice. So happy to know you and appreciate your awesome art. Can’t say I know anyone else who’s painted a bakery.🙂

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  25. Happy fifth blogging birthday! Your posts are always so joyful.

    I love, love soup, so it’s hard to pick a favorite, but if I HAVE to, I’d say it’s chicken soup with some kind of pasta in it. Classic and delicious.

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    1. Classic and delicious — just like you🙂. I always get excited to see a new post or comment from you. I love how you surprise me with your unique take on things. Hope we get to meet someday.

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  26. Happy blog birthday! It was fun to see your summary of the evolution of your book birthday posts (and to confirm how much TIME you put into those/every post!!!). Your creativity knows no bounds…including the way you spotlight the creativity of others. I’m not a necklace wearer, but I’m going to have to have some of Catrina’s earrings. How to choose?!?!

    My favorite soup (because I’m looking forward to cool enough weather to actually WANT to eat soup) is my mom’s broccoli-cheese soup with BACON.

    Like

    1. Mmmm, broccoli cheese with bacon. I could get into that easily.

      You know I’ve been a longtime fan of A Year of Reading, and continually wish I could be in your class. It’s been really exciting and inspiring to see you own your identity as a poet in addition to everything else you do so well. I love picturing you with some of Catrina’s earrings. It *is* difficult to choose. I have some Oreo and sub sandwich earrings made by another artist and they’re a lot of fun to wear. Must add a pair of Catrina’s creations to my jewelry box, too.

      Like

    1. Yes, I hear you! That stringy melty cheese — always a good experience🙂. Thanks for sharing, Laura. An honor and pleasure to know you all these years.

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  27. Congratulations on five years. Love your blog. And nothing can beat my Mom’s vegetable soup with real beef broth and hearty chunks of potatoes, carrots and onions. Here’s to five more years!

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  28. I have said this before, but your posts are the most fun to read. You put so much thought and effort into each one, they are a joy to behold. I really enjoyed your five year introspection, as well as Colin Firth. And my favorite soup is the good old standby, Chicken Noodle. Nothing better on a cold winter’s day.

    Like

    1. Aw, thanks so much for your nice comment, Diane! I really appreciate it! I know just what you mean about chicken noodle soup. Classic comfort food, especially good on chilly days🙂. And I’m glad you like Colin Firth too :)!

      Like

  29. Congrats on 5 years! Those little necklaces are so cute, and the Julia Child book looks really interesting. As far as my favorite soup, I guess I’d have to go with a hearty minestrone, but it’s so hard to choose. Soup is so good!

    Like

  30. I am so happy to have gotten to know you a bit through blogging. My four-year anniversary is coming up in a few weeks, and I couldn’t agree with you more about being surprised about where blogging has taken me and about all the lessons learned and tips. I still don’t write fast enough, but I have stuck with it nonetheless.

    I’m too chicken to change platforms. I think I’d have to pay someone to make the transition for me. As for learning this stuff in elementary school? I’m not sure there were computers when I was in elementary school. We *did* have electricity. LOL.

    I love all kinds of soup. I could eat soup every day. Favorite? My grandmother’s beef (yes beef) borscht. I miss her and her cooking. I’ll have to do some re-creation tests to see if I can come close to my memories of this wonderful Russian soup. It was my grandfather’s favorite too.

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    1. I’m so glad to have stumbled upon your Weekend Cooking meme. Can’t even remember now where/how I first became aware of it. Such a friendly, welcoming group.

      Beef borscht? That’s a new one. Your grandmother sounds like she was a wonderful cook.

      Miracle of miracles, we had electricity too when I was growing up — and you’re right, no computers then, so who would have even dreamed about html or CSS? Younger bloggers have such an advantage in my mind — if you already have some technical chops behind you, you’re that much further along in the game.

      I’m a slow writer and can’t believe that you consider yourself slow, when I see all the great reviews you post every week. It’s definitely a challenge to keep up when you’re by nature a slow writer. I always feel like I’d like more time to work on certain posts.

      Congrats on blogging for 4 years; surely there’s much to be said for simply surviving that long!

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  31. What a lovely, funny post🙂 Happy blogoversary! Your website doesn’t look so bad, which means you probably picked up on the html, css etc. in no time?😉 I’m in Europe (alas), but I’ll share my fave soup anyway: my mom’s Chinese hot and sour soup. Which (fortunately, for me) is easily made with only vegetarian ingredients. I often make fresh tomato/bell pepper soup for my boyfriend, as it is his favourite.

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    1. Thanks for the good wishes! I like your soup choices🙂.

      No, I still don’t know half of what I should about CSS or html. It’s tough enough working on good content.

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  32. I wouldn’t have found you if it wasn’t for the Weekend Cooking and I’m so glad I did, I really enjoy your posts! Wishing you many more fun years of blogging. Happy Anniversary!
    I love soup and picking a favorite is so hard. I think maybe chicken tortilla, or a nice creamy tomato. Mushroom Barley?

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    1. Thanks so much, Carol. I’m happy to know you through WC too! It was a lucky accident that I heard about it. A good creamy tomato = yum! Need to try mushroom barley sometime🙂.

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  33. What a lovely post! I loved reading about the things you wish you’d known when you started, and the history of your blog (I’m only a newbie follower), and seeing your personality in all of it. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations!

    By the way, my favorite ‘soup’ is my mother’s chalupa recipe. It’s pork and beans and it simmers on the stove for hours. I’ve never made it on my own, actually (will have to remedy that soon!).

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    1. Hi Cecelia,

      So nice of you to visit AS: appreciate all your kind words. I’ve never had chalupa but it sounds delicious. I can almost smell it simmering now :)! Make some soon.

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  34. What a great blog! I enjoyed my visit.🙂 I totally get the loss of readers. I find my blog has been crickets lately compared to the norm. People don’t comment like they used to… Happy 5th Blogiversary! (No need to enter me in the give-away, I live in Canada.)

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  35. Congrats on your anniversary! Your posts are always so beautiful, delicious, and — for a fellow baker like me — completely dangerous! I can’t enter the giveaway since I’m in Italy, so don’t put my name in — just wanted to wish you the best for another 5, 10, 15 years!🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Renee! Didn’t realize you were into baking. Yay! Wonderful to get to know you and your blog this past year. No Water River is amazing; it’s such a fabulous resource and always beautifully formatted, not to mention the timeless treasure trove of poetry videos/interviews! (I’m actually surprised no one else thought of compiling them before.) Let me know if you make those cookies🙂.

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  36. I love your post on Julia Child🙂 My favorite soup used to be vegetable (with barley), but sadly, now that I’m gluten-free, it’s not as good (though I think brown rice would work nicely). I also LOVE New England clam chowder. I had it recently in Hull (which is right on the bay), and wow, it was amazing (and gluten-free naturally). Thanks for blogging such interesting posts (which I always read, even when I can’t think of a comment beyond, “nice”). 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Robin. Haven’t had any clam chowder in a long time — mmmmm, creamy goodness! Good to know you’re out there reading sometimes :)!

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  37. my favourite soup would have to be Mulligatwany. love the spicyness. I am all in for foodie field trips, and add in there book readings and we have a winning outing.

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  38. My favorite soup is home made chicken soup with red potatoes, tomatoes, mixed veggies and LOTS of garlic. Great when you are feeling sick and still wonderful when you are feeling healthy. Congrats on so many years of blogging!

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